First Semester in American High School


We had two pretty happy girls this morning! The 1st semester of Lara and Brittany’s Sophomore year ended today. And it appears Lara’s 1st semester of AMERICAN High School was a success!

August 2011-1st day of school

It was 4 months ago when I first shared with everyone Lara’s first day of High School. First of all… I can’t believe how fast 4 months have gone by! I fear how fast the next 5 months are going to pass! Lara adjusted very well, made a lot of friends and ended the semester with straight A’s. Most of all, she survived her least favorite class…American History. WE ended up with a “A”. I say WE because many of you already read the Blog Post about how we read the History book together and help her study for tests. It’s been a learning adventure for both of us!  One special thing about this class is that Lara has made a good friend in it… a gal who was kind to Lara since the first day of class.

In Culinary Arts, Lara has learned a lot about cooking and important tips in the kitchen. In fact, she feels every school should offer Culinary Arts, even in Germany. She’s also become a fan of a TV Show on the Food Network after her teacher shared an episode in class. It’s called “Good Eats”. Lara started recording the show and now we all watch it!

In Digital Photos, Lara has been challenged but I’ve seen great progress in how she takes pictures and captures images. I’ve shared some of her pictures below. Digital Photo isn’t one of her favorite classes. The teacher  assigns a lot of projects and it is time-consuming. But I think she will appreciate it more after 2nd semester and when she sees how well she takes pictures.

Lara has enjoyed Dance. In fact, on any day of the week, we will find her twirling and dancing in the house. I also catch her dancing in store aisles sometimes! She’s made some friends in that class and is looking forward to her first dance concert in January.

Clay was one of her favorite classes.. and the teacher was also one of her favorites. In fact, Lara gave the teacher a small gift for Christmas and the teacher got Lara a clock mechanism for a project she made. That’s when you know a teacher has impacted a student. Lara has brought home some excellent projects from this class and they are displayed in our home.

English class has not been as challenging as I thought it might be for Lara. The teacher is kind and patient and Lara has had no problem reading the stories, taking the tests or knowing the vocabulary words. I thought I was going to have to help her in this class more than others but I haven’t had to help at all.

December 2011

What I’ve noticed in Lara as her Host Mother is that she has matured this semester. When she first arrived, she looked meak, shy, with a little girl look about her. Now, she has a more mature look about her and has a more worldly look about her. That certainly makes sense…. after all… she moved half way around the world to stay with a family she didn’t know, attended a school with no friends and is forced to speak English every day. That’s a big undertaking for an adult, let alone a 15-year-old girl.

We are proud of Lara, just as we are proud of our own children. But the situation with Lara is different. She could have come to America with the intention of just “getting by” in school. But she has put her heart into school and adjusting to the American way of life. She was always worried about how she was going to do on a test or on a project. And she would get just as nervous about it as our daughter and her friends. She will be taking this year over again in Germany next year so I could see how some kids would try to just “skate by”. But not Lara. She has given her “Exchange life” a 100% effort and I think that’s what she will get back in the satisfaction of her experiences… 100%.

I look forward to what the next 5 months will bring to our family and to Lara. I’m sure there will be more rewarding experiences! Here’s a sampling of the photos she’s been taking.

Our Christmas Village

About schreinerrealty

I'm a Realtor, Property Manager ad Owner of a Real Estate Brokerage, Schreiner Realty. I'm a Mother of 2, stepmother of 3, and now a Host Mother of a German Exchange Student. I am an avid volunteer in our community, involved in networking groups including Women's Council of Realtors and Women of Faith in Business. I spent 16-years in TV News as a Producer/Anchor/Reporter/Newsroom Manager and still participate in free-lance Producing Projects.

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